Idea #398,476,201,599 / by Michelle Linden

C's Studio Project / Norman Foster's Entertainment Center in Kazakhstan

I recently saw this new project by Norman Foster (via Inhabitat) and was immediately reminded of one of C's old studio projects. I wish that I could have found one of the final renderings, but this schematic drawing will have to do... but I'll keep looking for the rendering, where the resemblance is much more uncanny.

This coupled with a few design experiences at work has really made me start to think about the reality of original design ideas. There are a lot of people who think that there are no more original ideas, and that we are all simply working on developing those few previously developed original thoughts. I don't really think that I'm jaded enough to believe this, but the theory certainly does make me think...

If an architect in China develops a truly great solution for a particular program, isn't it possible that an architect in South Africa could develop a similar great solution for a similar program? While I think that there are probably an infinite number of solutions to each individual design problem, isn't it possible that there are a finite number of reasonable or 'good' resolutions? If this is true, then it would seem that designers on opposite sides of the world could easily come to the same result. If you develop a design scheme, and a separate architect develops a similar scheme (unknown to you), does that make it any less original? Personally, I'd argue that both solutions have original qualities even if they aren't exactly unique. Because lets face it, before globalization brought the world closer together, we never would have even had the opportunity to question the uniqueness of the idea.

I haven't really made up my mind about the idea of original designs, and would certainly be interested in others' opinions... Any thoughts?